We all knew that preseason All-American Marcus Smart would be one of the best players in the country. In all honesty, we knew he was going to be one of the best when he decided to forgo the 2013 NBA Draft and come back to play for the Oklahoma State Cowboys — but did we actually expect him to be as good as he’s been so far this season?
Smart hasn’t really had to step up and play at his best against the weak teams that Oklahoma State has started out the season against. Only averaging around 13 points a game, he was able to relax and not have to be the go-to be the superstar that we expect him to be. So, when the No. 7 Cowboys were set to take on the No. 13 Memphis Tigers, it was hard to know what to expect from the sophomore.
Just as Smart seemed to be slowing down from the heroics of last season, he exploded for a 39-point performance against a Memphis team that many believed had the talent to make a deep 2014 NCAA tournament run. He dominated the Tigers every time he got the ball. On top of that, his 39 points were scored while only shooting 52 percent from the field.
In the 101-80 blowout of the Tigers, Oklahoma State let everyone know that they’re a lot better than we expected them to be. On top of that, Smart let everyone know why he deserved the preseason All-American nomination, and why he’s the best player in the country.